This week’s episode of The Rail focuses on ticket prices in British grounds. We sat down the FSF communications officer Michael Brunskill, to learn more about how it works, what the ongoing debates are, and what the future holds for ticket prices in stadiums around the UK.
How did the fight for ticket prices begin?
For a long time, people have felt that ticket prices were too high, particularly in the last 10 years. The example that really sparked things was in 2013 when Man City fans were charged 62 pounds to go away to the Emirates. This really sparked the idea that we had for a while, which is that away fans are often ignored, and have to ply higher prices. Since then, the “Twenty is Plenty” campaign has saved fans thousands of pounds. This has not totally fixed the problem, but it does show that a coordinated campaign can make a difference, not only by raising media awareness, but also by saving people money.
How Does the “Twenty is Plenty” campaign work?
The idea is that clubs on a reciprocal basis set up 20-pound tickets for all fans traveling away. Since it’s creation, more than half of the Premier League clubs have gotten involved in one way or another. In the beginning people didn’t think anything would happen, but we have seen the clubs do it, from the Premier League down to the Football League. For instance, Coventry city has committed to charging away fans no more than 20 pounds when they head to the Ricoh Arena.
What are some of the most exciting developments?
Swansea city have capped all tickets for their away fans at 22 pounds. We encourage all clubs to follow in their footsteps. We also created the away supporters initiative. In which each club spends 200,000 pounds per season for away fans so that over the course of 3 seasons, which equates to 12 million pounds.
We want to see the Premier league clubs increase the initiative to 1,000,000 pounds per season. This would mean that all clubs could implement the 20 is plenty campaign across the entire league. With the new TV deal, clubs have more liquidity than they did before. So there is no excuse not to apply this.
The increase in the most recent tv deal means that clubs could actually let every fan in for free for the entire season, and make the same amount of money as the previous year. So we can’t pretend that clubs don’t have the money to reduce prices, they just need the will. And the only way for that to change is for fans to campaign.